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Red sanders smugglers held

Three alleged red sanders smugglers were on Monday arrested and around two tonnes of the precious wood worth Rs 2.27 crore was recovered from them by Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force officers, police said.

“Following a tip-off, the Task Force sleuths caught the trio during a vehicle check at Billupati Palli railway gate in Madhavarampodu village early this morning. As many as 122 red sander logs weighing around two tonnes and worth Rs 2.27 crore in the international market, were seized,” Kadapa Superintendent of Police Naveen Gulati said.

The accused were identified as M Viswanatha Reddy (37) of Virudhu Nagar of Tamil Nadu, who currently resides in Nellore, V Sudharshan (28) from Nellore and G Praveen Kumar (32) of Tirupathi.

“The accused trio are the main associates of international red sander smuggler Kollam Gangi Reddy,” Gulati added. Police have also seized three cars, four mobile phones and Rs 51,000 cash from them.

A case has been registered against the trio under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and and Forest Act.

“The modus operandi of the accused is that they procure the wood from other smugglers and transport them pretending that they are carrying waste paper loads, fruits and vegetables,” Gulati explained. They supply the red sanders logs to the smugglers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi and other northern states of the country, he said adding that they have links with international smugglers.